Did State Reopenings Increase Consumer Spending?
The spread of COVID-19 in the United States has had a profound impact on economic activity. Beginning in March, most states imposed severe restrictions on households and businesses to slow the spread of the virus. This was followed by a gradual loosening of restrictions (“reopening”) starting in April. As the virus has re-emerged, a number of states have taken steps to reverse the reopening of their economies. For example, Texas and Florida closed bars again in June, and Arizona additionally paused operations of gyms and movie theatres. Taken together, these measures raise the question of ...
Walmart Checking and Apple Savings: Different Motivations, Similar Outcomes?
Walmart and Apple have announced plans to offer traditional financial accounts. Walmart’s consumer checking account may advance financial inclusion by increasing account access to unbanked and underbanked consumers. Apple’s consumer savings account may change how credit card issuers offer rewards to their customers. Both offerings are likely to increase competition in the financial services industry, though whether they ultimately benefit consumers remains to be seen.
Is the 2005 Bankruptcy Reform Working?
While the name of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act suggests two goals, BAPCPA seemed to be more about abuse prevention than consumer protection. The abuse alleged by proponents of BAPCPA, particularly credit card lenders, was that filers were using Chapter 7 bankruptcy to avoid paying credit card debt they could afford to pay. BAPCPA aimed to curb the alleged abuse through a variety of obstacles, most notably a means test intended to divert better off filers from Chapter 7, where credit card and other unsecured debts are discharged (forgiven), to Chapter 13, where ...
The 2017 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice
This paper describes key results from the 2017 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (DCPC), the fourth in a series of diary surveys that measure payment behavior through the daily recording of U.S. consumers' spending. The DCPC is the only diary survey of U.S. consumer payments available free to the public. In October 2017, consumers paid mostly with cash (30.3 percent of payments), debit cards (26.2 percent), and credit cards (21.0 percent). These instruments accounted for three-quarters of the number of payments, but only about 40 percent of the total value of payments, because they tend to be ...
How Similar Are Credit Scores Across Generations?
With the rise in economic inequality in the United States in recent decades, there has been growing concern about whether there is a sufficient degree of equality of opportunity in our society. Policymakers and researchers alike often focus on studies of intergenerational mobility as a way of assessing opportunity. These studies typically analyze distinct aspects of socioeconomic status, such as income, education, occupational status, and health, and measure the association in these outcomes between parents and their adult children.1 If the association (level of similarity) is very high, then ...
What Explains the Post–2011 Trends of Longer Maturities and Rising Default Rates on Auto Loans?
This paper quantifies relationships of long-term auto borrowing and auto-loan default to observable borrower characteristics and economic variables. We also quantify the residual components of the trends in long-term borrowing and delinquency not attributable to identifiable factors. Second, our paper provides new evidence on the relationship between longer-term borrowing and auto-loan default risk. We find that observable factors associated with the choice of a long loan term usually indicate an increased risk of default. We also find that the increasing share of long-term loans and the ...
The 2016 and 2017 surveys of consumer payment choice: summary results
Despite the introduction of new technology and new ways to make payments, the Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC) finds that consumer payment behavior has remained stable over the past decade. In the 10 years of the survey, debit cards, cash, and credit cards consistently have been the most popular payment instruments. In 2017, U.S. consumers ages 18 and older made 70 payments per month on average. Debit cards accounted for 31.8 percent of those monthly payments, cash for 27.4 percent, and credit cards for 23.2 percent. The SCPC continues to measure new ways to shop and pay and found ...
Did the Target data breach change consumer assessments of payment card security?
Previous research has found that perceptions of payment security affect consumers? use of payment instruments. We test whether the Target data breach in 2013 was associated with a change in consumers? perceptions of the security of credit cards and debit cards and with subsequent changes in consumers? use of payment cards. Using data from the Survey of Consumer Payment Choice (SCPC), we find that, controlling for possible confounding effects of demographic differences between the two groups, ratings by consumers who assessed the security of personal information of debit cards shortly after ...
The 2016 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice
This paper describes key results from the 2016 Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (DCPC), the third in a series of diary surveys that measure payment behavior through the daily recording of U.S. consumers? spending. In October 2016, consumers paid mostly with cash (31 percent of payments), debit cards (27 percent), and credit cards (18 percent). These instruments accounted for 76 percent of the number of payments, but only 34 percent of the total value of payments, because they tend to be used more for smaller-value payments. Electronic payments accounted for 43 percent of the value of payment ...
Just Released: More Credit Cards, Higher Limits, and . . . an Uptick in Delinquency
Today the New York Fed’s Center for Microeconomic Data released its Quarterly Report on Household Debt and Credit for the second quarter of 2017. Overall debt balances increased in the period, continuing their moderate growth since 2013. Nearly all types of balances grew, with mortgages and auto loans rising by $64 billion and $23 billion, respectively. Credit card balances increased by $20 billion, recovering from the typical seasonal first-quarter decline. The overall balance surpassed its previous peak in the first quarter. We wrote here about how the new peak poses little concern in and ...